Saigon – Orient Pearl

Days are mostly dull, when you have a job that pays enough to cover yourself ; if you still live with your parents who are both protective and understanding – meaning you are relatively free to do things (that don’t embarrass your lovely parents) and you don’t have to pay rent. My mother accepts anything I give as a matter of courtesy, and being an angel she’s always worried that somehow I’ll end up living alone without any money, so she urges me to save as much money as possible, an activity I haven’t learned to master yet. Dull and colorless days lead me to think of what it’s like to live in Vietnam, as a person like me: average income, average ideals in life, average taste in art/movies/music, etc…basically what an average person would do here? I don’t know about you, here are things I enjoy right now:

Coffee

There is nothing, literally nothing, can match up with the amount of coffee shops in this land. They open one and close other in matter of months, from low-level stalls with some plastic chairs on the corner of the streets, to high-class coffee shops bigger than your house, you have so many choices you decide to stay home and drink your mother-made coffee. I got a list of a guy here, which is the only thing you need http://www.nomadicnotes.com/travel-blog/ho-chi-minh-city-cafes/ .

People in SG drink coffee all the fucking time, morning, lunchtime, afternoon, evening, 2-3am…it’s a hobby which I myself also fall a victim to. I’m not coffee-addicted, not even close to worship coffee as something you must have in life – but I fully embrace the idea of at least one cup of iced coffee/ day. Because if it isn’t there, what else can fill up the void inside me?

You don’t need a real reason to go out for coffee. Friends? Great, we have a squad, together we can gossip about those we dislike. No one to go with? Go by yourself dude, you are a functional adult, you can just go there, order a black iced coffee, no sugar, enjoy your leisure time or mentally judging all those people happily chatting around you, it’s up to you. Just hanging out to feel like you’re not allergic to the society is good enough a ticket to get that bittersweet drug.

Perfect combination. Wonder if they have Parliament here.

Street-food

We have this sentence, proving to us that our great ancestors were actually fairies: “Eat well, sleep well – fairy you are”. I don’t feel like an average person has many things to say to the other but: “Eat yet? Want to go eating? This place has awesome food. Let’s eat.” If we’re bonding over cup of coffee, first we must get to know each other by eating. And where else in the world is more of an amazing heaven on earth for food-lovers as in Saigon. Take a look here http://www.legalnomads.com/2014/06/saigon-street-food.html. Come on. Click it. Just on click away and you will be taken to another world.

And here: http://vietnamcoracle.com/top-5-street-food-streets-in-saigon/ Also check out: http://saigonstreeteats.com/about.html

More serious, life-relating article: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/jun/29/saigon-street-food-vietnam-illegal-vendor

(Don’t. Forget.To.Click)

Movies

We have some cinemas here, so yeah people go there to watch movies. That’s it. I have no other words for this, ‘cause it’s too boring to spend another word.

However, let me recommend you some other things I enjoy more right now, after one year returning to Saigon and live it my way, rather than way of a child under parents’ care. I know, I’m so not the adventurous type who will give instructions and guidance about this and that, I’m more of a selfish bitch who likes to promote my own stuff and give shits whether you like it or not. No, I’m joking, sorry if I hurt you. No wait, do I even care, or do YOU even care to read until now? Moving on, there are places which I just found out recently but super-into them that I need to keep them in my special list here, for example:

  1. Decibel Lounge: http://saigoneer.com/saigon-bars-cafes/904-another-side-of-saigon-nightlife-decibel-lounge

Check their Facebook you will see daily events: Monday book club; Tuesday free food test; Wednesday movie night…. I have been here two weeks straight for their movie nights, and I find it great, very satisfying. Surrounding by strangers but in a strange way I feel close to them, as if we’re gathered here by a force of nature and sharing 2 hours watching the same movie in silence. The room is small and we watch movie screened by a projector, but I have the best feeling ever, now I cannot return to the old way of watching movies in the cinemas. I’m so glad I have found this place, and I’m gonna enjoy it while it still lasts.

I’m kind of obsessed with this cafe right now… is it a good thing, having a place where you can come and go, no string attached, but every time you leave you still want to come back?

  1. Live music bar, café: Acoustic bar: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293925-d6777828-Reviews-Acoustic_Bar-Ho_Chi_Minh_City.html

Mr. Minh – owner of the bar – once was the drummer of Little Wings – a veteran Saigonese rock band, he opened the bar 8 years ago to satisfy his love for rock music, and now it has become one of the famous places for young people to come and enjoy live-music show. I have been there for a first time in October of 2015, returning some more times, have been a bit addicted to its exciting and energetic atmosphere, but if you come too many times within a month you will get bored ‘cause the bands and singers tend to keep the same songs for the whole month – at least. So, it’s good if once in a while you go there and relish time of youth with the blasting music and sweaty surrounding. They have veteran singer Chu Minh Ky. I hope to be this energetic and life-loving when I’m at his age. If I’m lucky enough to live to his age.

Hard Rock café is a more high-class and international version of Acoustic bar. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293925-d5565387-Reviews-Hard_Rock-Ho_Chi_Minh_City.html.

One of the two front vocals of ID Talent – Indonesian band performed there once. She is amazing, great voice, great entertainer, super friendly. Also thanks to the decision coming to that Queen tribute, I got new cool friends. What a memorable night.

RFC – Rock Fanclub Café is more of a local bar, but the same atmosphere.

Actually in Saigon there are many café that also has live-music, and difference lies in the genre.

If you like jazz: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293925-d2435381-Reviews-Sax_N_Art_Jazz_Club-Ho_Chi_Minh_City.html .

Flamenco: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293925-d4411306-Reviews-Carmen_Bar-Ho_Chi_Minh_City.html .

Old Vietnamese bolero: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293925-d8443320-Reviews-Nguoi_Sai_Gon_Cafe-Ho_Chi_Minh_City.html.

Smaller place with live-music, but the performers are not professional singers, they are students, or have great talent, and their music are softer, gentler: Vừng ơi mở ra Café: https://www.ghiencaphe.com/cafe/vung-cafe-vung-oi-mo-ra/

So… I will update the list when I have more interesting things to say. Or not.

@ All pics are from Google images.

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